UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Dr Catherine Holloway

Dr Catherine Holloway

Senior Lecturer

Dept of Computer Science

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
21st Sep 2009

Research summary

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science based in UCLIC who is passionate about the design of usable assistive technologies. I am happiest when making things work well, especially when these things are useful to people with disabilities. I direct the UCL-James Dyson Summer  School and am passionate about engagement and outreach activities. 

I am a co-founder and Academic Director of the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub)(www.disabilityinnovation.com).

My current research projects are:

  • Power-Up! Fuelling a new generation of assistive technologies (PI,£99,425, EP/N022971/1, 1st June 2016 - 31st May 2017).

  • Assistive, Adaptive & Rehabilitative Technologies), (Co-I and experimental Lead, EP/M025543/1 ≈£1.8 million, Apr 2015 - Apr 2018). www.aartbc.org

  • Accessible Routes from Crowdsourced Cloud Services (ARCCS , (Co-I, EP/L023849/11, £344,853, September 2014 - November 2016). www.arccs.org

  • Seeing What They See Compensating for Cortical Visual Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease, (Co-I, NIHR/ESRC, ES/K006711/1, £2.7 million, April 2014- Apr 2018). www.ucl.ac.uk/dementia-vision

Teaching summary

My office hours are 13:00 – 14:00 Tuesdays and Wednesdays

I currently teach on the following modules:
  • Interaction Design (PSYCGI17)
I direct the following module:
  • Accessibility & Assistive Technologies (PSYCGI20)


My first degree was in Industrial Engineering from the National university of Ireland, Galway. I graduated in 2004 and then worked as an R&D engineer with Medtronic designing angioplasty balloons before deciding to undertake a PhD at UCL in 2006. My PhD focussed on developing methods for measuring accessibility and mobility of wheelchair users out of doors. This began a theme of my research which is measuring clinical parameters in the wild. From this research the SenseWheel was conceived as an idea which was recently spun out as a community interest company called Movement Metrics. 

I completed my post-doctoral research as part of the PICAV project from 2009 - 2012 which designed a semi-autonomous vehicle capable of being used on footways. During this time, I was the lead researcher within the Accessibility Research Group and also directed UCL's PAMELA facility. During this time I developed the biomedical capabilities at PAMELA, which sits within UCL's Civil Environmental & Geomatic Engineering Department. These capabilities helped secure funding for projects as diverse as Wearable Assistive Materials and Seeing What They See. I also ran a number of research projects for transport authorities such as Transport for London and High Speed Rail 2 investigating infrastructure design on passenger flows. These reports are archives here.

I took up a lectureship at UCL's Civil Environmental & Geomatic Engineering Department in 2012 where I developed the theme of how we measure and aid movement in people with disabilities. I secured funding for AART-BC, AARCS and Seeing What They See. In Sept 2016 I was promoted to senior lecturer.

In February 2016 my appointment was transferred to UCLIC and since then I have received my first grant for a project we fondly call Power-Up!, which looks to design new power sources and interfaces for assistive technologies starting with the humble wheelchair.